Partnership with HRDI to scale improved cucurbit lines
The Highland Research and Development Institute (HRDI), Thailand, a WorldVeg partner, hosted a ‘Transfer of Technology’ event in Huay Kayeang, Kanchanaburi Province on 15 March 2017 to showcase the superior performance of WorldVeg cucurbit lines to more than 300 farmers, who viewed the demonstration plots and sampled pumpkin fruit and other pumpkin treats.
HRDI, established in 2005 and led by Pedcharada Yusuk, Nittaya Nokham and Nuengruethai Boonmala, works with WorldVeg East and Southeast Asia to find solutions to ensure food and nutrition security and sustainable social and economic development for resource-poor smallholder farmers in the highlands. In 2015, Narinder Dhillon, Worldveg Global Cucurbit Breeder, collaborated with HRDI on three multilocation screening trials of cucurbit lines (9 pumpkin; 6 bitter gourd) in three sub-districts (Huay Kayeang, Kanchanaburi Province; Pong Kham, Nan Province; Huay Pao, Chiang-Mai Province). The traits favored for selection were plant yield, fruit qualities such as taste, sweetness, texture, flesh color and beta-carotene content, and disease resistance.
Trial results combined with feedback from farmers and consumers indicated three WorldVeg-bred bitter gourd (AVBG1301, AVBG1312, AVBG1324) and tropical pumpkin (AVPU1502, AVPU1504, AVPU1506) were ideal for HRDI to promote to highland farmers.
During the ‘Transfer of Technology’ event, the WorldVeg cucurbit breeding team (Supornpun Srimat, Suwannee Laenoi and Narinder Dhillon) provided practical tips on how to produce genetically pure seed of WorldVeg cucurbit lines so that farmers can maintain the lines themselves.
Sak Somboonto, Governor of Kanchanaburi Province and Rujira Rimphadee, HRDI Director, acknowledged the productive research collaboration between HRDI and WorldVeg, and are looking forward to future initiatives to benefit the highland farmers of Thailand.
Story and photos: Supornpun Srimat, Suwannee Laenoi, Narinder Dhillon and Fenton Beed